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Battletech Recon Tournament Boards

Tutoring 9
Skill 10
Idea 10

I have been meaning to add these images for a while now and just recently decided it was about time to rebuild my boards for BattleTech.  With that in mind, I will share my current boards which are now a number of years old.

Now I have to admit that I can’t take full credit for these as the idea for them comes well and truly from the mind of a rather talented builder on the Terragenesis website.

But as they say, mimicry is the highest form of flattery here is my little journey into hex terrain.

These boards were to be used in my RECON events.  For those of you who don’t know the tournament format, it’s based on Light and Medium classed Mechs and individual mission objectives.

Each game is only set to last 8 rounds so with that in mind the Boards would be smaller than the regular BattleTech map sheets.

I began by mapping out the terrain features on hex paper.  The intention was that each battlefield would consist of two boards that could be swapped and twisted around to make multiple different layouts.

A whole load of wooden terrain boards cut to size.

Beneath each board were holes so that they could be bolted together to form larger boards.

Next, I used a homemade stencil to mark out all the points for all the hexes for each terrain board.

A quick visit to a Foam sales shop and I had a big pile of thick XPS polystyrene.

I printed out sheets of hex paper.  Each hex is big enough so that a Mech could comfortably sit on it and still have room for some trees to be added to the outside of each hex should they be needed.

Once I had the lowest part of a hill mapped out, I began cutting the polystyrene with a table-mounted hot wire cutter.

Once cut out I cut away the hexes that would only appear on the lower section and repeated the process.

I kept doing this until I had the finished hill.

Eventually, I ended up with a huge bile of chopped polystyrene pieces.

I carved the sides to give a rougher look and used a hot knife to mark out all the hexes on the surfaces.

I then glued the hills to the wooden boards following my pre-drawn plans making sure that they could be moved around to make different setups.

Once the first six were assembled I ended up with this.



Battletech Recon Tournament Boards

All the polystyrene needed to be undercoated.  I used PVA glue and mixed in some brown paint so that I could see where I had covered with PVA and what I had missed.  It’s important to seal the foam this way if you intend to use spray paint on it.

I then used a hot glue gun to roughly mark out the hexes on the wood surface.  I also marked out where the small waterways and lakes would go.  Next, I covered all the land areas with sand.

I ordered around 1000 trees from eBay.  Yes, that’s one thousand trees, it’s not a typo.

The trees were a little bright, so I gave them a dusting of spray paint.  I did them in batches so I could vary the colours a little.

The bases were then painted brown, and the hills were painted black.

Next, I used regular house paint from the local DIY store to start adding some colour.

The hills and backs of the waterways were drybrushed in a couple of shades of grey, no not 50 of them.

The water was then painted in a nice bright blue.  I know water is not really a bright blue, but I figured a nice bright colour would make the tables pop a little at the event.

After that came the ground.  A nice green colour.

I then used foliage scatter to mark out the hexes that would be woods. and dry brushed the green to break up the flat colour a bit.

Trees were planted into holes drilled into the boards leaving space so that figures could still be positioned among them, and the waterfalls had a white drybrush to simulate water spray.


Battletech Recon Tournament Boards

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hutchsundancerChris Recent comment authors
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Cult of Games Member

That looks fantastic, great work

Cult of Games Member

How did you do the hex field in the water?

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